98 corolla just repaired, won't start


Old 09-20-09, 11:14 PM
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Unhappy 98 corolla just repaired, won't start

My Corolla has had a ton of problems recently.

First I noticed that I was going through a lot of oil. I took it to Toyota and they told me that the head gasket was leaking and there was a rear side axel leak as well. They told me neither of these was urgent and I could continue driving my car.

After a few days of driving, I noticed that the transmission was really rough and jerky. When I parked it, there was a big leak. I took it to another mechanic and it dripped a puddle of transmission fluid during the 10 minutes it was up on the lift. That mechanic said there was a leak at the corner of the head gasket, my car was burning oil, and that he'd have to pull the transmission out of the car to fix the transmission fluid leak. He refilled both my oil and my transmission fluid (for free- he was wonderful).

It sat in the parking lot for a week and did not leak any more transmission fluid. The next time I drove it (to toyota), I did not see any transmission fluid leaking and I have checked the transmission fluid level several times and it's staying pretty constant.

I took it back to toyota who told me they noticed an additional two leaks from the first time they checked it- an oil pan leak and transmission pan leak.

The next time I drove it after that, it failed to start and there was gas shooting out of the injector system. I had it towed to Canadian tire, where they replaced the fuel pressure regulator. I drove it home and it ran fine. No leaking of the transmission fluid.

That brings me to today. I tried to start it and I just get a clicking noise. If I try again I hear nothing.

What is wrong with my car and is there something I can do to get it to start again without paying for another tow truck and repair? I just want the damn thing to start so I can sell it to anyone who will take it knowing what's wrong with it.

Also, how come the transmission fluid doesn't seem to be leaking anymore?
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Old 09-21-09, 03:32 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

Might be a bad or discharged battery. Turn the headlights on and see if they go out when you try to start it.

Are you sure the head gasket is leaking? a valve cover gasket would be more likely.
Old 09-21-09, 07:21 AM
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If the battery is good one suspect would be the contacts inside the starter solenoid being worn. No quick fix for that beyond removing the starter and replacing the contacts inside the solenoid; it's about a $50 job if you can do the work yourself.

No telling about the phantom tranny leak.

I think Mark is right about the valve cover gasket vs head gasket nomenclature.
Old 09-21-09, 02:57 PM
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This might have nothing to do with it, but you can never assume. Take a peek. Looking costs nothing. Open the hood and look to make sure the alternator belt and pulleys have no oil on them and the belt is tight enough.

[Tight enough means - that there is about 1/2 inch you can deflect the belt, with moderate pressure between two far pulleys. Too tight and it shortens bearing life. Too loose and it can slip and squeal. And with oil on it it may not even squeal to clue you in. Alternators become harder to spin when electric loads are placed on it, like from the a/c compressor/blower, lights, etc., are placed on them. That is why you just can't go by if it spins okay at idle.]

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